October 22, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Is clinic firm US Stem Cell sued by FDA prepping for fat-free future?

Is fat-free always a good thing…even for unproven stem cell clinics?

It must be a challenge for a stem cell clinic firm like US Stem Cell, Inc. (USRM) to face an imminent possible future where it cannot sell injections of its main product, fat stem cells, in the US.

After all, “US” and “Stem Cell” constitute its name. Ouch.

It’s probable that a year or so from now the FDA lawsuit against USRM will be over and the “fat stem cell lady” will have sung “FDA wins.” With this future in mind, USRM itself now may already be exploring what it will try to do to maintain future income flow.fat-free

Options include taking the “fat-free” fork in the road and selling injections only of other stem cells like bone marrow cells instead, but I don’t see that as too likely.

Another possible path is moving fat stem cell clinic operations overseas. Such a decision would be kind of following in the footsteps of other firms such as Texas stem cell clinic Celltex that now does its injections in Mexico. Other American firms sell non-FDA compliant stem cells in the Caribbean.

A third possibility for USRM is branching away from stem cells and there is some evidence recently that they may be trying to boost income from non-stem cell sources. For instance, a new press release (PR) highlights how USRM is now selling other alternative medicine stuff:

“IV nutritionals, infrared therapy, electromagnetic pulsed wave therapy, ozone therapy, diet and nutritional counseling and other services designed to promote regeneration and natural healing.”

What are the heck are some of these things? I Googled some of the ones I had never heard of and in my opinion the search results suggested they are kind of kooky, but what do I know? I asked Dr. David Gorski of Science-Based Medicine for his view of this USRM development and here’s what he said:

“Facing the possibility of losing their lucrative income stream from unproven stem cell treatments due to the FDA crackdown, It looks to me as though they’re diving headfirst into the deep end of the quackery pool.”

Yeah, he’s blunter than me. Note that Science-Based Medicine has covered US Stem before such as here.

Other firms pitching fat stem cells and in particular California Stem Cell Treatment Center as well as its chain of clinics called Cell Surgical Network have got to be feeling the pressure as the FDA has sued them too in federal court seeking a permanent injunction.

What happens next?

Maybe the stem cell clinic industry will be 90+% fat-free within a couple of years? This in theory will be better for patients even if bad for the bank accounts of the clinic operators…unless of course they get customers to pay them money for other potentially risky, unproven “treatments.”

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